WHEN Greg Baldwin was a boy, he would religiously scamper along behind his father to the St Arnaud racing track.
The masses of people and the thunder of horse hooves would mesmerise Greg, who decided his future would lie with racing horses.
“The track was in an area in the middle of no-where,” Mr Baldwin said.
“But then on that one day there would be hundreds of people crammed in their watching the thrill of the horses on cup day.”
“It was very exciting.”
But much has changed since his father shared his racing passion with his young son.
Back then horses, jockeys and trainers knew there was always going to be another race.
Now the Racing Victoria committee is set at the end of May to disclose the final list of Victorian racetracks that could lose all race meetings.
The move comes after Racing Victoria highlighted eleven country tracks in the Racing Victoria’s Racecourse and Training Facilities Directions Paper published last December.
Unfortunately for Mr Baldwin St Arnaud joined a field that included Alexandra, Buchan, Camperdown. Great Western, Merton, Mortlake, Omeo, Tambo Valley, Tatura and Yea.
The committee rationalised closures stemmed from 75 per cent of starters coming from just 10 training venues, making it unviable to keep unproductive tracks funded.
But while the campaign to keep the 100 year old St Arnaud RK Macey cup is on-going, Mr Baldwin is confident the committee has put up a good fight.
They have joined up with the Wimmera Racing committee, significantly boosting membership and facilities are at a stage where occupational health and safety concerns are “not an issue.”
“Now we really need the support of the town as I don’t think some people release that we are down to the last race meet in the town. If that goes, that is it.”
Racing Victoria’s manager racing operations Paul Bloodworth said more than 100 submissions have been received from country clubs, trainers and stakeholders in response to December paper.
“After the May board meeting we will hold another group road show where our executives will explain the outcomes.”
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